Assailant attacks prominent columnist

JANUARY 24, 2008

Posted February 27, 2008

Jamil al-Nimri, Al-Ghad

Al-Nimri, a columnist for the daily paper Al-Ghad, told CPJ that an assailant rang the doorbell to his residence on Gardens Street in Amman’s Tla al-Ali area and asked the maid to see him. Al-Nimri said that when he came to the door, the perpetrator suddenly used a scalpel to cut his face, lightly wounding him on his left cheek, and then ran to a nearby car carrying two other men. They sped away.

Al-Nimri told CPJ that he clearly saw his attacker’s face and provided a description to the authorities. He said that the Public Security Directorate announced on February 5 that they had apprehended the three perpetrators and charged them in the attack.

Al-Nimri said he believed he was attacked because of his journalism. About six months prior to the attack, he said, a guest on his now-cancelled political talk show, “Bila Koyoud,” strongly criticized a deputy of the Jordanian government’s lower house. The parliamentarian then threatened al-Nimri and the head of Jordan TV, which broadcast the program.

King Abdullah II condemned the attack on al-Nimri, telling the journalist that assaults on the press are unacceptable and that those behind the attack will be brought to justice, the Jordan Times reported.